Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Final Frontier

Space. The final frontier, where no man has gone before.

No... not quite. The final frontier is surely the mind, the inner complexity of our thoughts, fears and desires, the root of our actions and obsessions. Does one ever sort it all out? Surely it helps to adopt a philosophy, a point of view, a rational construct of the world and what it all means? But lately I have pondered my life like a mysterious painting, which appears one way from a certain viewpoint, and then reveals an entirely different story from a different perspective.

In high school, I knew a young woman who was determined to become a psychologist. She had a generous nature and a desire to help other people, but she was also motivated by a need to understand herself and her own life better. If I had thought her chosen subject would reveal the answers she sought, I would have joined her quest. Even then I was more of a skeptic, with a sense of humor colored with some dark threads.

This morning I picked up Loose Girl, a Memoir of Promiscuity, by Kerry Cohen, published June 3rd. Kerry is a practicing psychotherapist specializing in treating teen girls addicted to sex. She's also a wife, mother and successful author, and someone who found her way to making a beautiful picture out of what first appears to be a sad and challenging life. I'm still in the midst of reading her book, but recommend it for anyone who wants to understand the underpinnings of our loose sexual culture, or who seeks answers for themselves or their loved ones.

Not everyone will find themselves in Kerry's memoir, but it is good for everyone to understand those who do.

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